Judge will Resign to Settle Misconduct Charges

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SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) _ A Clinch County judge is resigning to settle misconduct charges by the state agency that investigates Georgia judges.

State Court Judge Berrien L. Sutton, who is also a juvenile court judge, has agreed to step down from both positions by June 1st.

The state Judicial Qualifications Commission in exchange agreed to drop its charges against Sutton. They included accusations that Sutton appointed non-lawyers to hear criminal cases, pressured a magistrate judge to help one of his business associates and signed an illegal order to collect court fees that were later distributed to county officials.

Sutton is the second judge to resign over misconduct charges in Clinch County near the Georgia-Florida border.

Superior Court Judge Brooks E. Blitch III agreed to resign last month rather than face misconduct charges that he ordered illegal payments to county employees.